The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme Invitation to tender for the delivery of workshops and services

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1 The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme Invitation to tender for the delivery of workshops and services The Prince s Countryside Fund is seeking tender applications for the development and delivery of a series of half day business skills workshops to vulnerable farm businesses throughout a five-year programme of support delivered through The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme. Each workshop would require: Development of workshop content including resources to be made available online and in paper format through The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme. Delivery of the workshop in 15 regions across the UK, to groups of up to 20 farm businesses from January- May A feedback report following each workshop. Support with communications for the programme including newsletters and events. For consistency across the programme and quality assurance we ask that each of the same workshop is developed and delivered by one organisation, but we realise that due to the practicalities of the 15 regions, the workshop delivery may be shared between different colleagues within that organisation. An organisation may tender for one or more of the specified workshops. A memorandum of understanding/contract will be issued for an initial 12-month term to be reviewed following completion of all agreed milestones and successful evaluation of achievement. 1. Overview of the programme HRH The Prince of Wales recognises that family farms are the heart of the British countryside and their health is vital for all our rural communities. The vast majority are sole traders or family partnerships which gives them both a unique strength and a profound vulnerability. The last three years of declining farmgate prices has put an unprecedented strain on these businesses. In 2015 the average farm income fell below 20,000 for the first time since Recent research carried out by The Andersons Centre for The Prince s Countryside Fund (the Fund) demonstrates that the problems affecting farms and their ability to survive economically are now so extreme that one in five (17 per cent) 1 Total income from farming in the UK, National Statistics https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/total-income-from-farming-in-the-uk (accessed 3rd May 2016) The Prince s Countryside Fund, 137 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7RQ / The Prince s Countryside Fund Charity No Company No

2 is unable to pay their short term debts. Cashflow problems are being passed on to the wider community with work drying up and redundancies looming. On top of the day to day problems for every farmer new and more life changing decisions are now required, against a background of continuing uncertainty for which many are simply not equipped to cope, financially, technically or emotionally. In recent research Is there a future for the small family farm in the UK? commissioned by the Fund from the University of Exeter the following recommendations were made for farm businesses to secure a viable and resilient future: 1. Adopt lifelong learning through regularly accessing advice, support and information to help inform business decisions. 2. Development of good management and technical skills to assist with the effective day to day management of a successful farm business. 3. Develop and implement a plan for succession and/or retirement from farming. 4. Collaborate with other farmers and supply chain partners, including developing local networks, peer support relationships and business opportunities. 5. If appropriate, and after full market research and business advice, introduce new enterprises to diversify farm business income. The problems affecting farms are significant and immediate. They are affecting the health and welfare of family members. The Fund believes that we need to act now to offer support on a broad scale which can equip these businesses with the information and confidence they need to help them survive, and importantly to make the right choices for themselves and their families. This programme of support is specifically interested in those farm businesses that are hard to reach and that are not already accessing or participating in local or other support. It is also those businesses that are most vulnerable and need the help and guidance to make informed decisions about their future which will be targeted for participation. These farm businesses should have the most to benefit from participation in this scheme and should be empowered to more proactively seek advice and guidance to manage change in their business for their future resilience. Project objective and outcomes For every farm business the long-term outcomes will vary. Collectively the programme is ambitious in its objective we want every farmer in the UK to be in the strongest position that they can be. There is a huge amount of untapped potential in UK farming and a wide range of reasons for this. The Fund and the programme s steering group has identified a hard to reach group of vulnerable family farms as in particular need of help to nurture and inspire them to lead their businesses to be more resilient to face the challenges they will inevitably encounter in the years to come. The programme will run for up to five years and evolve to meet the needs of the target farm businesses over this time at a cost of over 1.5 million. The programme is committed to helping the farm businesses involved to create a better business and better life from their participation to ensure that we retain a diverse farming sector in the UK. We recognise that sometimes the decisions the individuals and families will make will seem small or insignificant but all will be encouraged in order to improve their business long-term viability and create a sustainable farming sector in the UK.

3 Support the British farming sector. Help vulnerable farmers to have a better understanding of their business including margins and unit costs to help sustain both their business and diversity in the farming sector and food supply chain. In doing so, this will help to contribute to a thriving rural economy. Provide a safe environment to explore a range of business change options. Many farm businesses need to make key decisions about the future direction of their business. By providing a safe, supportive environment farmers will be encouraged to explore the range of options to identify the best next steps for their business, diversification, succession and where necessary signposted to additional support (e.g. moving out of farming). Improve confidence. Give farmers the knowledge and support they need to generate confidence in their business management (e.g. cost control, financial dealings with the bank), a balanced quality of life and future viability. Create networks. Through workshops, newsletters and other communications channels, join up disconnected and remotely located farmers and as a consequence build trust, transparency and confidence in their relationships with each other as well as the rest of the food and farming industry. Increase efficiency and productivity. Achieve increased efficiency for those farmers involved in the initiative, by highlighting the opportunities through signposting to advice and training and to offer advice and support on implementing specific changes on farm that will lead to improved sustainability. Key Performance Indicators The KPIs to define the success of the programme include qualitative and quantitative measures for the farm businesses involved and reflect the objectives above. The following KPIs have been set for 2016/17 and the longer-term programme farm businesses directly supported through a programme of business advice workshops and cost analysis with mentor support to help inform business and business change decisions. To provide practical advice and guidance to vulnerable farm businesses to support them through the current crisis in UK agriculture to help make informed decisions about the future of their business. To provide all vulnerable family farm businesses across the UK with access to online resources allowing them to make informed business decisions. Increase recognition and understanding of the opportunities to improve efficiency and increase profitability on farm, through cost analysis and business management workshops. To increase levels of confidence and communication in the farm business, demonstrated through evaluation surveys at the beginning and end of the programme. Derived personal enhancement from membership of local networks with which to share ideas / transfer knowledge. Support and involvement of key industry stakeholders to deliver a uniform, coordinated approach to business change management at farm level both now and in the future. Reaching the hard to reach farmers Key to the success of this programme is successful recruitment and engagement with the target farm businesses. The programme does not seek to replace existing support for farm businesses from not for profit organisations, public sector funded programmes or consultants.

4 However, it does seek to reach out to those businesses that are struggling to make ends meet and lack clarity about the future prospects for their business. It is essential for these businesses that we convene a strong and supportive representation of individuals and organisations who will commit to promoting the programme and encouraging their customers, clients and contacts to consider taking part. It is anticipated that those participating will be small- to medium-sized farm enterprises with a labour input of up to two people (or to use technical language, a standard labour requirement of two full-time labour equivalents). This programme builds on the success of The Prince s Dairy Initiative and will be open to a wide range of farm businesses, the majority of which will either be dairy, beef, lamb or mixed enterprises. Proposed Regions that The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme will be delivered in 2016/17 Region Suggested Delivery Location Predominant type of Farm Business County Derry TBC TBC County Tyrone TBC TBC Ayrshire Ayr Beef & Sheep Lanarkshire Lanark Beef & Sheep Powys Builth Wells Beef & Sheep Monmouthshire Abergavenny TBC Northumberland Allendale / Hexham Beef & Sheep Cornwall Launceston Dairy Shropshire Craven Arms Beef & Sheep Yorkshire / Lancashire Settle Beef & Sheep Cumbria Cockermouth Dairy South East East Sussex/ Chichester TBC East Huntingdon Beef & Sheep South Peaks Blackwell Beef & Sheep South West Taunton Dairy The Farm Business Journey Following the successful recruitment of farm businesses an informal introductory session will be organised October- November 2016 by the Regional Co-ordinator. This will provide an overview of the programme and what participating will involve. The first session will be held one-to-one, at each farm business by a regional Mentor. This will be a chance November- December 2016 for the Mentor to understand the key priorities and concerns of the family and their business values as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the business, the challenges faced and the aspirations for the future. The Mentor will support the input of data into the bespoke benchmarking tool. Business Health Check and feedback on Benchmarking data workshop January 2017

5 Finance Workshop February 2017 Applying practical cost savings on farm March 2017 Making the most of your farm business Part I- Business management April 2017 Making the most of your farm business Part II- New opportunities and change management May 2017 Final one-to-one action planning session at each farm business with their paired Mentor. This is an June 2017 opportunity for the business to reflect on participation in the programme, flag any areas of concern or development and compile an action plan to inform next steps through the Alumni programme. One of the outcomes of participation in the programme will be the effective ongoing existence of the local group. This will be supported in the short-term by two alumni workshops in the 2 nd and 3 rd year of involvement. Impact To survive into the future farm businesses will need to be more efficient and resilient as well as improve productivity and competiveness. This programme is aimed at helping farm businesses with their immediate business needs, however, we anticipate our support will be required in the mid-term as we help support farm businesses to develop and become more resilient. As well as the immediate intervention the programme will offer a support network and keep in contact with the farmers engaged to monitor their situation and the changes they have made. We are confident that if we can properly construct an initiative which is attractive, properly tailored and balanced to its audience the benefits will be considerable. 2. Practical and technical workshops (suggested content) Please note that the workshop names are very much working titles and we would be grateful for delivery proposals to include suggested workshop titles, we are keen that these are positive and straightforward in tone reflecting the programmes aim to improve confidence and as an opportunity for business development. Session Aims and Outcomes Format Business Health Check and feedback on Benchmarking data. Following farm businesses input into the programme s benchmarking tool the resulting data will have been validated and the participating farms received their benchmarking comparisons. Consistent and quality data is needed to ensure a meaningful comparison. Workshop content to include: It is suggested that this meeting would take part in a meeting room environment. Introduction to benchmarking and its role in effective business management Anonymised comparison of data between the group Exploration of the range of performance and consideration of the reasons for this difference Identification of strengths and weaknesses of individual businesses Clarification of the importance of budgeting and financial management (to lead into the topic of the next workshop)

6 Finance Applying practical cost saving on farm Learning outcomes Familiarised participants with benchmarking and its significance for their farm business Identified their business s strengths and weaknesses Shared knowledge to help improve day to day business management Identified where efficiencies can be gained through improving performance or lowering costs Improved confidence in data collection and record keeping and its role in effective business management Continued identification and development of personal and family values and corresponding business goals Following the successful delivery of a Finance workshop through The Prince s Dairy Initiative, this workshop would look at: Budget Planning Managing cash flow forecasting and loans Profit and loss Income sources inc external funding available and off-farm income Learning Outcomes: Increased confidence in managing business accounts and financial planning. Increased confidence in relationship with financial advisors. Participants equipped with the have the necessary tools and support options to implement this learning. Whilst the Farm Resilience Programme focusses on business rather than practical farming skills we are aware that practical examples are critical to illustrate the benefits of business planning. Workshops Aims: Provide examples of achievable and practical solutions to cost saving, including looking at ways to make efficiencies through pasture, feed costs, housing livestock etc. Compliment the budgeting skills obtained through the previous workshop and give farm businesses a chance to share examples of best practice. Learning Outcomes: It is suggested that this meeting would take part in a meeting room environment. This meeting could take place on farm, hosted at one of the participating Farm Businesses. This delivery model worked well through The Prince s Dairy Initiative, increasing the cohesion of the group whilst also allowing practical examples to be used.

7 Farm Businesses to have seen first-hand practical, simple and affordable changes that could increase the efficiencies on their own farm, and to have shared ideas and practices with the group as a whole. Making the most of your farm business Part 1 - Business management Making the most of your farm business Part 2 - New opportunities and change management This would be the first of two workshops building on the initial 1:1 business aims and values session, which will enable farm businesses to look at their farm businesses as a whole, identifying possible opportunities and planning for the future. Workshop content to include: Identification and evaluation of range of farm business assets Advice on business planning methods and SWOT analysis of farm business Business skills and competencies (internal and external) Decision making and processes Ways to find support and guidance to help develop a business plan Learning outcomes Explored and identified the short-term and long-term aims for their farm business. Introduced to business planning methods Identified opportunities and priorities for change in their business Improved clarity on the future for their business including planning for succession Continued identification and development of personal and family values and corresponding business goals Workshop content to include: Presentation from local farmer who has adapted their business to improve viability Principles of change management Appraisal of existing farm businesses through exploration of range of case study examples and next steps Consideration of opportunities to collaborate Learning outcomes Considered their enterprise s existing assets land, buildings, location, facilities, equipment, vehicles and machinery etc Explored opportunities for new enterprises and opportunities to change systems and processes It is suggested that this meeting would take part in a meeting room environment. This meeting could take place on farm, either hosted at one of the participating Farm Businesses, or by a local farm willing to demonstrate their diversification.

8 3. Timeframe for delivery The timeframe for the development of this programme has been short due to The Prince s Countryside Fund s belief that immediate action was required to support family farm businesses. We are looking to start the programme of workshops in January with the Benchmarking Feedback workshop and continue with a workshop each month until May though the exact dates and timings are flexible. 4. Rights intellectual property and ownership Please note that content developed for the workshops delivered through The Prince s Farm Resilience Programme will be available in the public domain through The Prince s Countryside Fund website, newsletters and other printed materials. The terms of this will be agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding / Contract between the two parties. 5. Submitting your tender proposal Please submit a proposal outlining how your business will effectively deliver the requirements as outlined in this document by 5pm on Thursday 22 nd September 2016: 1. Please outline of how you would deliver providing examples of materials produced and timeframe 2. Quality assurance workshop content 3. Please share with us your business experience of delivering workshops to vulnerable farmers who may lack confidence in their business skills and understanding 4. Capability and resource to deliver in multi locations across UK January- May Please provide a breakdown of proposed costs to develop workshop content and supplementary materials as well as consultancy fees for delivering workshops 6. Names of two references

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